In 1964, to bridge a growing price gap between its commercial-chassis fire apparatus and premium-priced 900 Series Customs, American LaFrance came out with a new economy model, entry-level cab-forward custom called the Pioneer I.
The new lowline custom utilized a slab-sided, flat-faced canopy style cab purchased from Truck Cab Manufacturers (TCM) of Cincinnati, Ohio. Standard engine in the Pioneer was a 413 cubic inch (ca. 7 l), 256 horsepower Chrysler V8, which drove a 750 gpm ALF Twinflow pump. Later the trucks were equipped with 6V-53N 216 hp engines.
Initially offered only as a bare-bones, plain-Jane pumper, the Pioneer product range was eventually expanded to include straight-frame and rearmount service aerials and even tractor-drawn aerial ladder trucks.
Successor: American LaFrance Pioneer II